Leon Tollette Murders John Hamilton In Georgia

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Leon Tollette was sentenced to death by the State of Georgia for the murder of John Hamilton

According to court documents Leon Tollette and accomplices were robbing a Brink’s truck when Tollette would walk up behind one of the guards, John Hamilton, and fatally shoot him in the head

Leon Tollette would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

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Leon Tollette Case

The trial evidence established that Xavier Wommack had been planning a crime in Columbus, Georgia, and he invited Leon Tollette to travel from Los Angeles, California, to join him.   When Tollette arrived in Columbus, he and Wommack, along with a third man, Jakeith Robinson, finalized plans for the armed robbery of an armored truck.   On December 21, 1995, the group followed a Brink’s armored truck to the SouthTrust bank.   Leon Tollette sat waiting with a newspaper near the bank, Wommack stood guard across the street, and Robinson sat ready as the getaway driver.  

As victim John Hamilton returned from the bank to the Brink’s truck with a money bag, Tollette approached Hamilton from behind and then fired at close range into his head, back, and legs, killing him.   Carl Crane, the driver of the Brink’s truck, and Cornell Christianson, the driver of a nearby Lummus Fargo truck, chased Tollette and fired shots at him as he fled with the money bag;  Tollette returned fire at his pursuers.   Wommack fired shots from across the street to aid in Tollette’s escape;  however, Wommack and Robinson ultimately drove away without Tollette.   Robert Oliver, a police technician, responded to the radio call of a detective at the scene.   When confronted by Oliver, Tollette attempted to fire at him and at a cadet who accompanied him, but all of the bullets in Tollette’s revolver were already spent.  Leon Tollette threw down his revolver and surrendered.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, we find that the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the statutory aggravating circumstances in this case.  Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979);  OCGA § 17-10-35(c)(2).


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